CLAC Applauds Wage Increases for Ontario Personal Support Workers
/ Author: CLAC Staff
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CLAC Applauds Wage Increases for Ontario Personal Support Workers

The Ontario government's recent changes will help attract and retain workers in healthcare

Cambridge, ONPremier Doug Ford announced today that the Ontario government will temporarily raise the base wage of personal support workers (PSWs) employed in long term care and homecare by $3 per hour. PSWs employed in children, community, and social services who provide personal direct support will also see their wages temporarily increased by the same amount, while those working in hospitals will receive a temporary increase of $2 per hour. CLAC has been calling for an increase in PSW wages for years and heartily applauds the government’s actions.

Earlier this week, the province announced plans to hire 3,700 additional healthcare workers and to allow future PSWs to work while they acquire their credentials. CLAC wholeheartedly supports these initiatives.

“We are pleased by the government’s action to increase wages, at least temporarily, and with the overall healthcare staffing action plan,” says Ian DeWaard, CLAC Ontario director. “Our healthcare members and their colleagues across the province are heroes, yet their workplaces have been in a state of crisis due to chronic understaffing.

While the announcement of the temporary increase in pay is welcomed, CLAC believes it needs to become permanent. Furthermore, in 2019 the province introduced Bill 124, which caps raises for healthcare workers to only one percent per year, well below the normal annual rate of inflation. The cap will continue to impact PSW wages and see them fall further behind—with or without the temporary wage enhancement.

In addition, Bill 195, which used emergency orders to suspend workers’ contract rights, is creating challenges for PSWs in their workplaces and is further eroding working conditions.

“Healthcare workers have gone above and beyond and have kept on in the face of fatigue, stress, and fear,” notes DeWaard. “The continued emergency orders should not be used to deny them vacation, other earned and much-needed leaves from work, and basic workers’ rights protections available to other Ontarians.”

CLAC will continue to work with the government to create better work environments for PSWs and the residents they care for and supports the recently announced changes that will help attraction and retention in the sector.

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